Getting to know…Boris Kolodny

Lapidary is the latest category of classes we’ve been able to offer now that we have a trimming saw and a cabbing machine. Boris Kolodny was strongly recommended for his teaching abilities and artistic talent and we’re thrilled that he decided to join us as an instructor! Let’s get to know more about Boris.

“I have been making jewellery since 1968,” says Boris. “I got into making jewelry completely by chance. While I was in Israel I became good friends with a very successful Israeli artist Valery Varemzaiden. He was an avant-garde jeweller and sculptor who made incredible jewellery. He showed me how to work with wax and casting. I never looked back after that.”

“At first I was mostly self-taught. When I was at University of Buffalo I used to spend time making jewelry at the university workshop which was open to all students. There I often watched Bill Helvig who at the time headed the Fine Arts program in Jewelry at the university. He was also a legendary enamellist. We often exchanged our techniques. He was very impressed by what I was doing. It was totally different from anything that he had ever done. I also learned enameling from him. Sadly he has passed away few years ago,” explains Boris.

What inspires Boris’ work? Lots! “Much inspires me: nature, people, music, etc. I have always admired the jewelers from the Bau House period, such as (Alphonese) Mucha, and especially (Renee) Lalique,” says Boris. “And, of course, (Peter Carl) Faberge and many of the Russian jewelers who did some exceptional work.”

When creating and deciding on projects, Boris considers if is for a client or his own-inspired design. “If it is for a client, they usually have an idea as to what they want. I just help them to bring it to life. Often, I will get an impression what this person needs and most of the time it is very precise and they love it,” Boris explains. “If it is my own design, it may take me a fair amount of time to bring it to completion. Often, I will just hold it in my consciousness until it has matured and is ready to be put down on paper or into metal. Sometimes, it may be a particular stone that will tell me what it wants to be. People may think it strange, but stones do know what they want to become and if you are sensitive, you can hear them. Sometimes, the inspiration will come while I read something or watch a movie. I find it helpful to have a pad of paper handy for those occasions. Sometimes, it is a person that will trigger an impression that I want to express in metal or stone.”

“At the beginning (of my career) I used to look through jewelry books or magazines and save clippings – I still have several folders full of those ideas. These days it is easier as I can scan what want and takes up much less room. Often, I will make a sketch of an idea that comes to me. I keep several notebooks everywhere for that purpose. If you do not do it right away the idea will become lost,” adds Boris.

Boris loves to teach and says there is nothing about teaching that he doesn’t enjoy. “I find that I often learn as much as I teach. I find that teaching is the best way of learning something well. If you can explain it well and demonstrate it you will know how to do it. It is a way of learning how to improve oneself,” says Boris. “Also, I believe that without sharing techniques the Art will die. It is very important that artists always share ideas and techniques with others. Much good comes from that. There is a process of Osmosis that happens when people interact and exchange ideas. And, one makes friends for life!”

When not teaching or in his studio, you’ll find Boris is just as busy. “I do martial arts, play my guitar or keyboard and sing. I also love camping, especially in the mountains. I have done martial mrts most of my life, since I was 16 years old, and that I have been meditating for over 40 years. I believe that spirituality opens an inspiration channel in a person. Often, impressions will come to me during meditation.”

Boris’ advice to others who create? “I would advise everyone who crates art to share ideas, interact with other artists. Taking workshops is always very inspiring. One little new tip or technique will change the way you do things in miraculous ways for the rest of your life. And, often inspiration comes from strangest places. Do not hide in your studio. Attend shows and exhibits and talk to other artists.”

Upcoming classes with Boris Kolodny:
Friday, June 2
Lapidary: Cutting Cabochons
9:00am – 5:00pm

Friday, June 16
Lapidary: Cutting Cabochons
9:00am – 5:00pm

More classes will be scheduled!

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